Tuesday, 19 May 2015


Indy's Examination Under Anaesthetic check-up on his eye was today and there was no evidence of any cancer cells.  It's a miracle of modern medicine.  Indy will be 4 years old in August. He's going to be a big boy by the looks of things!

Actually, come to think of it, another miracle of modern medicine is how treatment for detached retinas is successful.  Our elderly neighbour has been treated for this using an oil put into the eye which has been left for a few months.  He is now regaining his sight.  (The oil is or will be coming out, i.e. replaced.)  Amazing.

Sunday, 17 May 2015


The children's school, Mosshead Primary, Bearsden, held a fete on Saturday.  Here are a few photos.

Mairi in the queue to get in with Ishie in the forground, Alastair mid photo and wee Harriet in Mairi's arms.  Baby Ellie is in the pushchair asleep.

There is no show without Punch.  Grandpa lead a procession of children from the nearly by car park to the school entrance.  Having the pipes certainly makes an occasion!  It has also brought it home to him that if he doesn't pull them out once in awhile he get rusty!

This photo is for Indy who was asking about the fire truck we visited last year at our big birthday party (in order to put out all Grandma's candles)!

Thursday, 7 May 2015


Today is polling day and the children were off school as their school is being used as a polling station.

After we voted .... which turned out to be not straightforward for us... to digress for a moment: when our polling cards did not arrive alarm bells started to ring. I phoned the Electoral Office of our local government authority and found that our names had been removed.  Now we both are very attentive when it comes to voting so it was a bit unsettling.  However to cut a long story short it was an error .... (just shows you how things happen) ... and we sorted out the problem using the email and much use of our scanner!

Anyhow ... after we voted we headed off to Loch Lomond with Alastair and wee Harriet for the afternoon.

Both Iain and I love a campfire. We found our favourite spot and spent the afternoon with Alastair helping Grandpa build and maintain the fire. A bag of marshmallows is money well spent when it comes to keeping one wee boy amused ... except I couldn't get him interested in the old Girl Guide treat of sandwiching a gooey, burnt marshmallow between 2 chocolate biscuits!

Harriet had oodles of amusement chucking stones into a bucket and larking about the place in her bare feet!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


After school I sat with Alastair while we practiced his 4 times table.  He is 7 years old and is in Primary 3.  

It was interesting ....  I thought he would recite off "4 ones are 4 .... 4 twos are 8..." etc but he ran through the numbers "4-8-16-24-32-36-40-44-48" and that was limit for him at this point in learning.

After trying a few fun drills, I suggested the 2 times table.  He knew that easily but when I asked him to "double" the number e.g. "double the recipe" or "double the amount of wood for the fire" he had not come across that word.  Well, why should he?  It's all part of the learning curve...

  Grandpa's birthday cake

On Mull, Alastair made a first ascent of this columnar basalt route at the ferry landing which goes to Ulva.

 John's shot of Alastair in Glasgow

This little exercise reminded me of the time I used to "talk" to Donald B who had a stroke leaving him with aphasia - inability to speak.  As is often obrserved, patients with aphasia can sing but not speak.  Furthermore, I notice that they can chant as well and one of things that Donald could say was "2 twos are 4 ... 4 fours are 16" and so on.  (Other things I used to get him to say were phrases that I thought he was likely to know (and, indeed, was able to say) namely "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John", "e=mc squared" and "a e i o u".

Monday, 4 May 2015


Here are some photos I took this weekend.

It's a holiday Monday and also Iain's birthday ... so out with the BBQ.  This portiable BBQ from Tesco's kept both Alastair (7) and Ishie (8) busy tending sausages and mini-hampburgers.

I taught Alastair how to remove pomagranite seeds as done by cooking Domestic Godess Nigella Lawson.  He likes to whack whatever comes across his path so at least this is a productive way of using up his energy!

Baby Ellie, now 3 1/2 months old.

This is my tried and tested baby diversion system, aka front-loading washing machine.

Harriet, now nearly 2 years old is helping prepare Grandpa's birthday cake. I used my mother's Chocolate Cake recipe in which she has written on the top of the recipe card "from Eastern Star book".

The little dark coloured cookies on the top of the stand are something I have recently come across in Tesco's - Oreo mini-cookies.  They have had the normal size cookies on sale for about a year and they are probably 10 times the USA price. (Also giant marshmallows from USA are on sale and the same horrific price tag.)

Lastly, here is Ishie making marshmallow, chocolate and Smartie party treats.  In the background are kiddie plastic wine glasses as were were celebrating the birth of the new Royal Baby 2 days ago.

Monday, 20 April 2015


We have now returned from a week's holiday on Mull, an island off the west coast of Scotland.  It is a 2 hour car journey from Glasogw to Oban where there is a daily ferry service to the island. 
It was Ma, Pa 'n all the wains, meaning:  John and Mairi, Ishie (8), Alastair (7), Harriet (nearly 2) and baby Ellie (3 months) and Iain and I.  We were a right circus ... ooops ... I mean 'caravan' as every day we explored the single track roads in our 2 cars.

John booked a 3 bedroom house in the country "on a small holding" located on the road from Tobermory to Dervaig.   [www.accommodation-tobermory.co.uk/index.php/garden-cottage/]

Every morning (which, thankfully, were fair) Harriet and I spent time together outside, i.e.  picture a fiesty nearly-two year old who has recently learned to say "No" who loves puddles, 'chuckies' (stones) and climbing up anything remotely vertical.
Hold on.....

What have we here?!!!  Chickens!  And better yet a Hen-house!

And for Grandma ....

Friday, 10 April 2015


I headed off to Braehead shopping mall this morning with the intention of buying a replacement electric toothbrush at a larger branch of Boots. What I did not know was that the stores do not open until 10 am.  At least most of them don't....

By pure chance the Apple Store in the mall was open and I sauntered in ... and found that today is the day the new iWatch arrived in the shops for sale.  

I am a big Apple user, i.e. jet-engine of a Apple computer with large screen for desk-top publishing work, an iPhone and iPad.  I was aware of the new techy watch coming out and was interested because I have an ordinary wrist-watch which never sits squarely.  I like a leather strap but all straps are basically the same. On my wrist the face and the buckle always slide around to sit 90 degrees to what they should.

So I bought one or at least I ordered one.  The lad wanted to demonstrate all the 'techy' features to me; I spent all my time fussing about the strap!

I am dreadful that way!  Whenever I go to buy a car (and I do buy my own) I am not interested in the battery or dip stick, just let me concentrate on getting a really good radio and CD player (or rather as it used to be: a 'tape cassette'.)

But, of course, I can now have fun bragging to my younger friends that I have ordered a watch.  It didn't take long to get the desired reaction:  "No. 1 Son is impressed.  Says it is a clever bit of kit."  Quite so!